[This event is sold out. However, we will livestream the event to an adjacent room. If you would like to attend this event, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will contact you if there are tickets available for the adjacent room.]
Democratic societies thrive on the free exchange of ideas and equal access to information. Libraries, as trusted and impartial stewards of information and knowledge, have always been essential pillars of democracy. By preserving information and making it freely available to anyone who wants to learn, libraries empower truth-seeking citizenship.
We live in a moment marked by declining trust in mainstream media outlets and government, increasing political polarization, and rising rates of citizens consuming poorly-sourced, ideologically-driven, and fake news within (social media) echo chambers. These three factors, as well as others, are part of what some are calling a “Post-Truth” political and media environment in which each person or group has their own set of facts and where evidence, the truth itself and its traditional guarantors are viewed with cynical skepticism.
This “Post Truth” era ushers in an urgent opportunity for librarians to reevaluate and reactivate their role in equipping citizens with the digital literacy skills necessary to assess the quality and veracity of information and to approach socially important issues with an open, tolerant, and curious mind.
The “Libraries in a ‘Post-Truth World’” conference will provide a forum for the collective creation of design solutions to the challenges this new era poses to libraries, librarians, and their mission to develop an informed citizenry. The design sessions will follow a panel of speakers highlighting the key information and knowledge-related challenges facing librarians today.
John Palfrey, John Palfrey, Head of School Phillips Academy
Melissa Zimdars, PhD, Assistant Professor of Communication at Merrimack College
Alison Head, PhD Project Information Literacy
John Wihbey, Assistant Professor of Journalism and New Media at Northeastern University
Damaso Reyes, Program Coordinator, The News Literacy Project
Adam Schrader, Former Facebook editor and news fact checker
Mary Robb, Teacher, Media Literacy and Democracy, Andover High School
Ben Sobel, Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society